The Fish
for 10 July 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


[the fixin' pixie... ]
Emily Hobson
Production Manager
and Rhythm Guitar


Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


[Ian Connelly]
Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager


[Copy Edit]
Copy Edit

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman


Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


Sean (Duuuuude) Welch
Sean Welch


Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor


T. Jay Fowler

Production Manager

& Ass Kicker


[yes, it's a plunger. i'll l
eave the rest up to your imagination ... ]
Erin Coull
Production Manager


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Hey Ambrose,

Didn't I read this article
last week in the letters

You must be kidding that "...
other cultures work at
cleaning up after a bloody
patch of history with
contrition and handshakes."
Japan's public school
textbooks rarely mention
Japanese atrocities in Asia
or Pearl Harbor. Germany's
continual (and welcome, of
course) hand-wringing over
the Holocaust is the
exception, not the rule, and
in that case was established
at gunpoint, not through the
goodness of their hearts.

Good quotes on Tonkin et al.,
but you missed the boat on
this one. The debate about
Tailwind was just that, and
after many (including you)
hopped on board allegations
of US nerve gas use, it turns
out that there's no credible
evidence that it happened.
Pointing out that Johnson was
a prick is irrelevant.

Shawn Metcalf

The fact that Japan's efforts
at contrition are few, lame,
and grudging don't mean that
they aren't acts of
contrition. They're trying to
get off on the cheap, but
they're still trying to get
off the hook. Unless you
think the story about
reparations is entirely made
up. You do acknowledge that
paying reparations is an act
of contrition, yes?

Also, Germany is no longer at
gunpoint, and the recent
apology for Guernica can
hardly be said to have been
coerced. Note that, when they
were at gunpoint, at least a
few Nazi officers - who were
certainly more responsible
for Guernica and for every other
German atrocity in WWII than
the members of the current
German parliament, who did
the apologizing - were
entirely unapologetic. "I was
just following orders" is the
slightly oversimple but not
really inaccurate way we
remember their defense.

I understand your argument
that the debate over Tailwind
was just a debate over
Tailwind, and I can see
viewing it that way. But let
me try one more time with
this. An example, and a short
restatement of the argument:
The Los Angeles Times
reported, a few months ago -
during the height of our
renewed conflict with Iraq
over their possession of
nerve gas - that the United States had
helped Iraq to coordinate
nerve gas attacks during the
Iran-Iraq War. Remember the
firestorm of controversy and
discussion over that story?
Of course you don't - it
didn't happen.

So: We find out the
government lied to us, and we
have nothing to say. And then
we find out the government
lied to us, and we have
nothing to say. And then we
find out the government lied
to us, and we have nothing to
say. And then we find out the
government lied to us, and we
have nothing to say. And then
we find out the media lied to
us, and we go crazy: I'll
never believe those people

I really, honestly can't see
that pattern as an accident.

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Ambrose,

Gosh I love that Hemingway
guy. He sure could write.
Yup. Sure could. And it was
good. A quibble for ya. We
aren't actually represented
in our government so much as
we are slurried into an
aggregate. As Mencken said:
"Democracy is the proposition
that the average man deserves
representation, and he
deserves to get it good and
hard" (corrections

Jack Garman

Hemingway and Mencken ...
makes you want to drink
whiskey and arm wrestle,
doesn't it?

Off to Cuba ...

Ambrose Beers

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Ten Steps to Getting

In the interest of providing
accurate reader feedback,
here is a step-by-step
description of my personal
reader experience with
today's Suck.

1. Read today's Filler.
Chuckle appreciatively all
the way through.
2. Finish ... feeling oddly
3. Sit and ponder
lack of satisfaction.
Realize it is the product of
three contradictory facts:
a. In Traditional American
Humor, a list must always end
with some sort of zinger,
which provides both a big
laugh and closure.
b. Suck, and
especially Filler, always
proudly and rigorously hews
to the trail blazed by
Traditional American Humor.
c. "Girls named Heather are
usually evil," while
undeniably true, clearly
argued for by the film
Heathers, and kind of an
inherently funny sentence in
and of itself, is not much of
a zinger.
4. Contemplate the
statement "Girls named
Heather are usually evil."
Parse for oblique pun,
obscure literary/pop-culture
reference, roundabout slam at
David Foster Wallace, etc.
5. Shrug, tell roommate to put
on Meat Puppets II, pack
dummy pipe.
6. Play canasta.
7. Suddenly remember: Wait,
isn't there someone named
Heather Haver-something
that's on the credits page?
Hey! I bet that's it! It's
probably a mean little
in-joke that they figured
only true Suck aficionados
would catch. In fact, it's
probably some sort of secret
signal that this Heather
chick is on her way out. Or
maybe Polly's just got it in
for her. I wonder if she
slept with Polly's boyfriend.
Yup. I bet that's it.
8. Interrupt card game, give
roommate shiny object to play
with, go back to computer,
log on.
9. Go to Suck, find
listing for Heather
What's-Her-Name. Click on
10. Discover your
terrible secret.

Polly, I stand in awe. All in
the space of six magical
words, you managed to achieve
an Easter Egg worthy of
Warren Robinett, an Author
versus Avatar self-critique
worthy of Steven Millhauser,
and an example of pointless
self-referentiality worthy of
me. And you did this all
while adhering to the tenets of
Traditional American Humor.
You are a goddess. Tell Terry
I really like his drawings,

Jesse Fuchs

Forget all this Warren
Robinett - Easter Egg crap. I
just want you to explain

"6. Play canasta."

So when you're not hanging on
Filler's every word you're
... playing canasta?

Quality flattery is so hard
to find these days. There's
always a catch.

Fish With Letter Icon

City Page Turner

Dear Sucksters,

A few words in defense of big
city columnists. Hit and Run
number two took a potshot at them for
their use of bogus
statistics, false ire, and the
habit of quoting toddlers and
the senescent. This may or
may not be true of some
columnists, but it is a far
cry from the glorious work
done by the great city
columnists of then and now:
men like Pete Hamill, Mike
Royko, Murray Kempton, and
A. J. Liebling, to name a few,
not to mention their
predecessors like Chesterton,
Addison, Macauley, and other
giants. A big city columnist
works in a genre all his own,
in which he is a
larger-than-life Citizen
giving voice to truths
reporters can't. People come
to know him and believe in
him. His voice is meant to be
emotive and grandiloquent,
just as a Hit and Run is
meant to be supercilious and
laconic. Statistics and other
dubious "hard facts" have no
place in a column except as
punctuation, and faking them
is a wrong squared.

Joshua Ozersky

Sounds like a good gig -
being a "larger-than-life
Citizen," telling it like it
is, with no hard facts to
stand in the way....

That emotive and
grandiloquent stuff is hard
for us to manage, though.
Grandiloquent, maybe.
Emotive, never.

Cold as ice, baby!

Fish With Letter Icon

The Department of Corrections
and Inquiries

The miserable people in
Breaking the Waves were
Calvinists, not Catholics.
Also, Ambrose Beers forgot to
mention that investors have
historically been
irrationally risk-averse and
stocks therefore have been undervalued.
So that may be why the
pyramid scheme may not
collapse. Finally, do you
plan extensive Lilith Fair

Karl Marksred

Someone else said they were
presbyterians. Looked damn
near Catholic to these
Catholics, but what the hell
have Catholics ever known
about Protestants, anyway,
other than the usual
from-the-true-faith crap?

Interesting perspective on
stocks historically being
"undervalued" - emphasis on

Extensive coverage of Lilith
Fair is indeed on the
schedule, including a
thoughtful piece titled: "Why
does an all-girl event spawn
so much automatic scorn?"
Alternate title: "Sarah
McLachlan: Why?"

Fish With Letter Icon

Dear Sucksters,

I just browsed in the Net
moguls trading area and I am
outraged at what I saw! Upon
closer inspection, I noticed
that your gum is actually
made from a scum base and
shit! How can you so
flagrantly sell this crap
(literally!) to children who
just want to collect and
trade their favorite Net
moguls. Do you really think
that children want to buy and
eat, er chew, shit?!?

J. Noah

Ah, the question that answers

Fish With Letter Icon

The Stuff -- it's a list of stuff we like

Little link to Suck
Arrow Image
Contacting Us
Contributors Index
Little Barrel Link
Little Gun Link
A machine producing Suck
Link To Tech Notes